Now that Logan has been released on Blu-ray and DVD, Rising Sun Pictures has released a breakdown video showcasing the digital effects its team artists provided on Hugh Jackman's final Wolverine film.
The five-minute video begins with the Australian visual effects company -- which previously worked on 20th Century Fox and James Mangold's The Wolverine -- demonstrating how it made Logan's bloody and gory confrontation with a gang of thugs so realistic. You get to see his animated claws cut into their flesh, plunge into their skulls and chop off their limbs as CG blood splatters about.
“Still, there was a lot to work out about the mechanical functioning of the claws and how they related to the actors and individual body parts, and we were given considerable license to solve the action in creative ways,” noted RSP VFX Supervisor Dennis Jones. “It went beyond tight match-moving and claw integration. For some of the really specific penetration moments, we had to remove, stabilize and reposition Logan’s arms, fists and claws to suit the composition and timing of the shot.”
The most visually arresting sequence for RSP was when Professor X's psionic blast occurs while he, Logan, and X-23 make a stop at the casino. Taking the form of a vortex of violent energy, the psionic blast stops the Reavers in their tracks and Logan literally claws his way past them to get to his friend and mentor.
“The blast was the most challenging effect creatively,” explained Jones. “The sequence was shot natively with camera shake and so there were no clean takes. Initially, we explored effects and treatments designed to add tunnel vision vignetting, as well as applying blur and over exposure, but weren’t satisfied with the results.”
Not satisified with how it initially turned out, RSP tried a different approach. “We found that shots with high contrast content and aggressive high frequency shake produced ideal results without too much modification“ said co-VFX Supervisor Anthony Smith. “We developed techniques to augment the blur artifacts with custom-animated kernels applied through the FFT (fast Fourier Transform) method. That produced sharp and controllable results.”
In 2029, the mutant population has shrunk significantly and the X-Men have disbanded. Logan, whose power to self-heal is dwindling, has surrendered himself to alcohol and now earns a living as a chauffeur. He takes care of the ailing old Professor X whom he keeps hidden away. One day, a female stranger asks Logan to drive a girl named Laura to the Canadian border. At first he refuses, but the Professor has been waiting for a long time for her to appear. Laura possesses an extraordinary fighting prowess and is in many ways like Wolverine. She is pursued by sinister figures working for a powerful corporation; this is because her DNA contains the secret that connects her to Logan. A relentless pursuit begins … In this third cinematic outing featuring the Marvel comic book character Wolverine we see the superheroes beset by everyday problems. They are ageing, ailing and struggling to survive financially. A decrepit Logan is forced to ask himself if he can or even wants to put his remaining powers to good use. It would appear that in the near-future, the times in which they were able put the world to rights with razor sharp claws and telepathic powers are now over.
Logan stars Hugh Jackman (Logan), Boyd Holbrook (Donald Pierce), Patrick Stewart (Charles Xavier), Dafne Keen (Laura Kinney/X-23), Stephen Merchant (Caliban), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Gabriela), and Richard E. Grant (Dr. Zander Rice).